You may have noticed that the internet has collectively decided to cancel Tyra Banks, with many people saying she deserves to go to jail or wondering why Tyra Banks isn't in jail already. No,Tyra hasn't committed any crimes recently. It just looks like people have been rewatching old episodes of America's Next Top Model (which first aired in 2003) and noticed that many of Tyra's comments did not age well at all. In fact, Tyra's behavior as the creator of the show was downright appalling and shameful.
ANTM was a reality competition show that selected a group of beautiful, promising young women who had to compete against each other to win the ultimate prize: a modeling contract with Next Management, a fashion spread in Paper Magazine, and $100,000. Every season pit a bunch of women against each other, and the show basically devolved into an ongoing catfight with some occasional competitive photoshoots. At the time, it was entertaining to watch. Now, we see the show for what it is: Super problematic, toxic, and abusive.
Why do people want Tyra Banks in jail?
As the creator and judge, Tyra led the show for 23 seasons, so she ultimately set the tone. And that tone, as we're now discovering, was judge-y and cruel and set contestants up for failure. One instance that a Twitter user pointed out showed Tyra allowing a white judge to tell a contestant (who was a woman of color) that she was "being too black." Tyra agreed and after the contestant defended herself, Tyra told her she was being "too defensive."
Here's Tyra telling a person that she shouldn't "flaunt" her queerness and told her it would be like if she (Tyra) walked down the red carpet saying "I'm black, I'm black."
When Tyra wasn't allowing racism or homophobia on her show, she was being incredibly insensitive.
One Twitter user brought up the time she had a "bi-racial" photoshoot and made white contestants put on black face for the "aesthetic."
And this. Tyra Banks DRAGGING a contestant for refusing to straighten the gap between her teeth.
A lot can be said about how problematic the modeling and fashion world was back in the early 2000s (not that it's perfect now by any means), which is true. Tyra was probably not acting any differently than a lot of industry folks. But does this make it okay Tyra is left unscathed after years of her own abusive behavior toward other women — especially women of color?
Regardless, the internet probably won't let Tyra, who now runs a modeling experiential destination called ModelLand, off the hook very easily. Tyra has yet to respond to the sudden uproar about her past behavior It could be that Tyra hasn't even logged on today to discover the onslaught of anger. It'll be interesting to see what she has to say for herself when she does — a simple "I'm sorry" definitely won't cut it.